Walla Walla Washington

Has anyone noticed that the northwest is having a spring heatwave? Well, we have.

Yesterday we pulled in to Walla Walla with hopes of getting my bike looked at and spending a day off of our bikes. Both missions have been accomplished. My brakes were dragging, so maybe that’s part of the utter exhaustion. And today we got up whenever we wanted to, did some laundry, visited the humane society next door, then went downtown to one of the 39 (I think) tasting rooms. Wine is really big around here.

It’s been a good day. We are both going to have a little rest time now and hopefully fix a decent meal for tonight.

The picture is an adoptable dog named Bhoot. She’s a real sweetie and we enjoyed playing together for awhile.

Tomorrow it’s back in the saddle and hopefully you’ll hear more of our adventures.

We made it through another day – somehow

I see posts aren’t going through for the last couple of days. It shouldn’t be surprising, we haven’t had WiFi. But when we do again, I imagine they will all go out.

You’re probably tired of hearing this, but it was another beautiful ride! This picture is part of the Rowena loops. It’s a series of switchbacks that takes you down for two miles. Michelle had the adventure of riding it on her bike. It was adventure enough for me to drive it in the RV. She offered to take me back up so I could ride down, but it really wasn’t something I needed to do!

I couldn’t tell you exactly how many miles I rode today, but it was enough. Not a lot by any stretch of the imagination, but enough. One stretch I sort of rode three times. Second guessing myself again. And one stretch of interstate I drove multiples too. We had a bike rack malfunction and the town we had just left was the last town of any size that we could get parts to fix it for a long, long way.

And tonight we are once again camped by the Columbia River. I haven’t yet gotten tired of seeing eagles, hearing the water or gawking at the beautiful trees. I have had my fill of trains, though. Why do campgrounds always seem to be right beside the tracks?

Cascade Locks, OR

What a great day! We didn’t ride too many miles, but that’s not important. We have seen some beautiful sights. Waterfalls, overlooks, rivers and trees. We’ve met interesting people, including a nice man from the DOT who was called in to direct traffic in the jam that I was part instigator of. Yep. Good times.

But seriously, I’d like to come back with John sometime and spend a couple of weeks. Maybe in a smaller vehicle.

One path that I was on had a three story staircase with a bike wheel groove. That’s something I’ve never dealt with before but it went without incident. There was also a tunnel, which I got through with no broken pelvis or anything.

All in all, this is going great. And we are still friends.

Big Fir

Last night we stayed in a campground north of Vancouver. We tried to get a spot a little closer to Portland, but campgrounds seem to be pretty full. We have both been surprised by the number of people who live there full time.

The amenities at this one were pretty rustic, but the scenery was magnificent. That’s a view looking up from our picnic table.

We had another rest day today. But now we will be hitting the road more and calling the RV places less. There was some weird problem with our converter that drained the batteries pretty much constantly. But now we are fixed and up and running.

And we are at a campground near where we will be picking up on the ride so we should be good to go in the morning. We will be biking on the scenic highway along the Columbia River and I for one am excited about it.

With any luck there will be a nice picture or two from that ride posted tomorrow.

It’s a beautiful campground

This is me by the little river next to our site. Last night went very well. We had a lovely meal of spaghetti and meatballs with a side salad. I’m thinking that by the time we were finished eating the low battery alert was ringing! Dang.

We turned stuff off, then decided it didn’t really matter. We would be dead by morning anyway. So, again, all night we listened to the tone from the alarm every 60 seconds. You really do stop hearing it, eventually. I did, anyway. Slept soundly and dreamed a whole lot more than usual. Weird stuff, sci-fi, even. Weird is common, sci-fi not so much. Don’t ask me what it means!

In the morning we had a leisurely breakfast, dressed in our bike clothes and unhooked. Guess what! The leveling jacks work with the RV battery! We were going nowhere without charging it somehow. But it hadn’t been charging much from running the vehicle, being plugged in or with the generator. So we called a few RV service places, discussed riding into town and carrying back a battery charger and even called some friends for advice. We also called the campground owner to see if they could give us a jump. She said she’d send her husband over, he knows how to do a lot of things.

So the batteries were pulled, checked and pronounced DOA. They weren’t old batteries at all, but he said once they’re that low they won’t hold a charge anymore. The guy two campers over volunteered to take us to town, the owner installed them when we got back. And we decided that by this time we should just take a rest day and stay another night.

Michelle threw a nice little shot glass. I did some reading and journaling. And we fed the rabbits carrots and tried to get good pictures of them. They are wild domesticated rabbits. Very cute.

Now you’ve read a book about a rest day. Tomorrow should be a better day, and we have a battery charger just in case.

Claskanie, Oregon

We started our ride!!! Still friends.

This is not going to be one of those bike tours where we start at the crack of dawn and keep pedaling until we reach our destination. Instead, if we continue to do things the way we did today, we will have a leisurely breakfast, wait for the mist to stop, then commence to riding.

Today’s ride really was beautiful. We both started on the river trail in Astoria. Michelle rode about halfway to the first rest point, then went back for the RV. We heard seals barking but couldn’t go down the pier because it was gated. So we only listened, no photos.

There were some fairly wicked hills, but we did just fine. After that river trail it was all on a busy highway. From my observations, RV drivers are much more rider friendly than logging trucks. I had no close calls, but I guess a couple of vehicles buzzed Michelle pretty bad.

But we are safe and sound and having a glass of Oregon wine, Rascal Pinot noir. We think it’s not bad. Our snack of the hour is gluten free chips and veggie dip.

Life is good.

Made it to Washington

We had a rough night last night, but we learned a lot. Isn’t that what challenges are for? Both of us can find the fuse box blindfolded now. And that’s enough about that. Other than, it was a very cold night.

Our early start turned into 11ish and we stopped before 6. It was time to kick back and relax. Dinah (RV is a DynaMax) isn’t enjoying mountain climbing and she needed a break just as bad as we did. But we made it to the other side of Spokane and if all goes well should get to the beginning of the ride sometime tomorrow. We hope to at least dip our wheels and start.

Pictured is our first camper cooked meal, Michelle made stir fry. Delicious and much needed.

Still in Montana

Thank you, Kevin and Ellen! For your hospitality and for all your work on the RV.

We left Gettysburg mid morning and have driven through a very gray day. There are now a few groceries in our pantry so we haven’t had to stop at any restaurants. And a little while ago I made myself a cup of coffee, just because I could. 😁 Easily amused.

Anyway we are 116 miles from Bozeman, where we plan to stop for the night. Tomorrow we will get an earlier start and maybe we will be on our bikes before you know it.

And my bike? Good thing I didn’t clean it up. Both of our bikes are filthy now anyway.

Here we go – almost

This is the place to follow our journey. The good, the bad and the ugly. Hopefully mostly good.

My friend Michelle and I are going to ride across the country in two blocks. Any day now we will pack our things in an RV and drive west. We will proceed to ride/drive our way back home by Memorial Day weekend. Toward the end of summer we will pick up where we left off and finish somewhere on the east coast.

April 28

Today was supposed to be the day to take off. But we didn’t yet. We decided tomorrow would be better. Michelle and I are both delaying packing for as long as we can, I think. But we will get it done in the end. I was going to get my bike ready last week, but that’s a task for tomorrow. It’s miserably cold and spitting a little rain here now. If tomorrow isn’t better maybe my bike will have to start out dirty. I can always clean it on the way. Right?

We haven’t looked at our route to the Pacific yet, but it’s early. We know we need to go through Gettysburg to have my brother-in-law tweak a few things on the RV, so there’s no need to plan the route further. We figure, if it takes too long there we will just spend the night and leave fairly early Tuesday.

We did drink a toast to our trip, RV and friends last night. Now all we have to do is make it happen.